Finally, a Compromise on 9th-Grade Testing

(Feb. 13) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bill to provide a shorter and more widely recognized ninth grade assessment directed at better preparing students for college received preliminary House approval this morning.

HB17-1181 directs the State Board of Education to move away from the state English language arts and math assessments administered by the multi-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) currently given to Colorado ninth-graders. The bill instead directs the department to adopt a new ninth-grade assessment that is in line with a suite of high school assessments currently offered in later grades. Using the PSAT would reduce testing time by more than six hours for ninth grade students, help better prepare students for college entrance exams later in high school and save the state more than $600,000 each year.

“This change will provide a more meaningful test for students, parents and teachers, reduce opt-out rates and cut testing time by more than two-thirds while still providing a reliable assessment of achievement,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood.

HB17-1181 is also sponsored by Rep. Paul Lundeen, R-Monument. After a recorded vote, the bill is headed to the Senate.

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